Lymph node biopsy

Lymph node biopsy is examination of an extracted piece of a lymph node under the microscope.The lymph nodes produce white blood cells that fight infections.

Biopsies are used to determine if the lymph nodes have enlarged or not, they also help in determining if the tumors in lymph nodes are malignant or not.

Following conditions give abnormal values in the biopsy:

  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis

Lymph node biopsies are used to determine the spread of cancer.

There are two types of lymph biopsies:

  1. Needle biopsy: Needle biopsy is a procedure where athin gauge of 0.52 to 0.64 mm outer diameter, hollow needles are inserted into the cells (samples) that are strained and examined under the microscope.
  2. Excisional biopsy: This procedure involves surgically removing a part of the node under the influence of anesthesia. The incisions are closed with stitches and bandaged.

In excisional biopsy the patient will take a few days to recover because of the incisional wounds; the doctor will prescribe some medicines and advise post-surgery care.

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